If you know that you want a nice pair of straight-legged, not-too-tight men’s jeans, you probably consider Levi’s popular 514 and 505 styles. Both types of jeans offer a loose but not baggy fit and straight leg. But when you compare Levi’s 514 s 505 jeans, what is the difference?
The main difference between Levi’s 514 and 505 jeans is that the 514 jeans have a classic straight fit while the 505 has a regular straight fit cut. The 514 jeans offer more room in the thighs and a looser fit than the 505 jeans. Also, the 514 jeans have a low-rise waist and the 505 jeans have a mid-rise waist.
In this article, you will learn what makes Levi’s 514 and 505 jeans unique. You will discover key differences between these popular styles. Finally, you will find out how they measure up to other Levi’s styles like the 513.
- What Are Levi’s 514 Jeans?
- What Are Levi’s 505 Jeans?
- Levis 514 vs 505 Jeans: Key Points
- What is the Difference Between Levi’s 514 and 505 Jeans?
- Did Levi’s Discontinue the 505?
- Levi’s 505 Regular Fit vs Straight Fit
- Vintage Levis 505
- Levi’s 505 Stretch Jeans
- What Levis Are Similar to the 514?
- What Levis Are Similar to the 505?
What Are Levi’s 514 Jeans?
The 514 is a newer silhouette that marries the relaxed fit of a sturdy, straight-legged pair of jeans with a more modern low-rise waist. It provides all the range of movement you could want for outdoor activity because of its roomy seat and thighs while maintaining straight legs with a 16.5” opening that will not look unfashionably baggy.
That said, this is by no means trendy skinny jeans! For comparison, Levi’s skinny jeans have a leg opening at the ankle of just 10”, so you can see a big difference.
Levi’s uses numbers beginning with a 5 to describe the different cuts or silhouettes offered by each style the company sells. For example, the first pair of jeans the company sold was labeled the 501. Today, you can choose from over a dozen different silhouettes in men’s jeans at any given time, though some of the trendier styles may come and go.
The classic straight-legged style of the 514 with its looser fit will feel comfortable on people with many different body types. The only thing to remember is that the low-rise waist may not feel as comfortable for anyone with a rounder body. This is not exactly a hip-hugger low waist, but the waistband will land at a point below your natural waist.
Levi’s 514 jeans come in 10 different washes. These include dark wash, Native Cali, Stonewash, and Midnight Worn. This style also features Levi’s more modern stretch denim.
Stretch denim combines the classic cotton fibers found in traditional denim with a small percentage of elastic fibers. This fabric feels softer and more comfortable than regular denim, but it will not hold up under wear and tear for as long as 100% cotton denim.
What Are Levi’s 505 Jeans?
First sold in 1967, Levi’s 505 jeans offered a classic straight leg silhouette with a brand new invention at the time–a zipper fly. This style has remained popular for many decades and is almost as iconic as Levi’s first pair of jeans, the 501. These jeans feature a loose, straight silhouette that gives you a relaxed appearance.
Back in the day, jeans served as sturdy workwear. The 505 carries on that tradition by offering plenty of room in the relaxed fit of the legs and the durable denim used in the construction. (Though you can also buy 505 jeans containing stretch denim, which feels more comfortable but lacks some of the toughness of 100% cotton).
In many ways, Levi’s used the 505 to update the traditional 501 style of jeans. The 505 offered slightly more room in the seat and thighs than the traditional straight-legged 501. The 514 continued that tradition by providing even roomier legs and also featuring a modern low-rise waist.
Partly because of its long history but also because of its accommodating shape, the 505 silhouette remains a best-seller among all of Levi’s popular styles. This loose, straight-legged style accommodates people of many different heights and builds. Plus, it offers lots of mobility and protection for anyone who wants to wear jeans for hard physical labor.
Like most of the styles sold by Levi’s, you can buy these jeans in almost any size, including men’s Big and Tall. The 505 silhouette looks natural with a flannel jacket and workboots, but you can also dress it up with trendier combat boots and a t-shirt if that is your personal style!
Today, you can buy 505 jeans in fifteen different washes or colors. These include Durian Dark Wash, Black, Flying Bird, Ocean Blues, and Shooting Star light wash. You can also select different distress levels if you want a trendier look.
Levis 514 vs 505 Jeans: Key Points
If you need a quick overview of the key differences between these two popular jeans styles, take a look at this chart! You will find more in-depth explanations later on in this article.
|Classic straight fit
|Regular fit straight leg
|Low-rise that sits just below waist
|Mid-rise that sits at natural waistline
|Low rise, 10.25”
|Regular fit through seat and thighs
|Denim with small percentage of elastic
|Either 100% cotton or 99% Cotton, 1% Elastane
|Slightly more modern silhouette but still suitable for outdoor work
|Relaxed occasions or physical labor
What is the Difference Between Levi’s 514 and 505 Jeans?
The main difference between Levi’s 514 and 505 jeans is that the 514 silhouette has a little more room in the thighs than the 505 silhouettes. Both cuts of jeans feature straight legs with the same leg opening at the ankles. The 514 also features a low-rise waist that sits below the natural waist, while the 505 maintains a more classic mid-rise waist.
Levi’s 505 and 514 jeans have similar cuts with one key difference to distinguish them. Both styles offer a straight-legged silhouette with a kind of boxy look because of the untapered shape of the legs.
But when you compare the shape of the 514 and the 505, you will find that the upper leg in the 514 style offers just a bit more space. This is not to say that the 505 style feels tight in the upper leg by any means, but the 514 adds just a fraction more fabric in the thighs.
This may feel more comfortable for people with muscular legs or people with more curves. The 505 jeans may feel a tiny bit tighter.
One of the biggest differences between the 505 and 514 styles of Levi’s jeans is in the rise of the waist. The 505 jeans have a classic mid-rise waist intended to rest right at your natural waist. These jeans have a rise of 11”, meaning that the distance from the crotch seam to the top of the waistband at your center front measures eleven inches.
The 514 jeans break with this classic image and go for a low-rise waist. This waistband should rest below your natural waist but above your hipbones, with a rise of 10.25”.
It may seem crazy that a mere ¾ of an inch can cause such a big difference, but in clothes, a fraction of an inch can give a totally different style!
Levi’s 505 and 514 jeans have exactly the same leg opening of 16.5”. This is a pretty wide leg opening that gives you an idea of how loose and boxy the pant legs fall all the way down from the thigh to the ankle.
The leg opening measures the diameter of the circle of fabric at the end of the pant legs. In other words, it tells you how wide the pants are at your ankles.
The rise is one of the most obvious differences between the 505 and 514 styles of jeans. The 505 has a rise of 11” and the 514 has a rise of 10.25.” This fraction of an inch marks a crucial distinction between the appearance of these jeans.
Why does the rise make such a difference? The rise of a pair of pants or jeans measures the distance from the exact point where the crotch seams meet the leg seams to the top of the waistband. This tells you how high the waistband will reach on your torso.
In general mid-rise jeans have a traditional look. You can easily tuck in a shirt at your natural waist. Plus, these jeans have a handy ability smooth over a less-than-flat belly because they cover your waist.
Low-rise jeans, in contrast, have a waistband that sits below your natural waist. These jeans look good with a hoodie, a looser shirt, or a baggy tee. The problem with low-rise jeans is that they do not suit as many body types because they can tend to droop at the waist below your belly in some cases.
The seat in Levi’s 505 and 514 styles of jeans will fit pretty similarly. The denim will not hug your body but should instead feel pretty loose and relaxed in this area.
The only distinction here is that if you buy 505 jeans made out of 100% cotton, they will not feel as flexible as the 514, which always contains stretch denim.
All of Levi’s jeans contain good-quality denim, which is a fabric made from twill-weaving blue and white cotton threads together. The 514 comes in stretch denim, a special kind of denim made by twisting cotton fibers together with a tiny amount of elastic fibers to create a fabric with a little more give in it.
You can get 505 jeans in stretch or regular denim, depending on how much flexibility you want in your jeans.
On top of this, you can select from many fabric appearances for either type of jeans. Levi’s offers a wide selection of different washes for each jeans style, meaning that you can get jeans that look black, grey, blue, pale blue, or even white! Plus, you can get many different finishes, including a distressed look or many other styles.
As a fun fact, the company recently moved to an innovative machine-operated finishing procedure that uses lasers to create most of the finishing styles on its jeans!
Both Levi’s 514 and 505 jeans have a zipper fly. This seems commonplace today, of course, because most modern jeans have zippers! But actually, the 505 was the first pair of men’s jeans Levi’s made that included a zipper instead of a button.
This sparked a lot of controversy at the time as many men preferred what they considered the classic denim look of the button fly.
Interestingly, Levi’s actually first used a zipper way back in 1947 to try to market jeans to women. Back then, women didn’t like the button fly because they found it less modest than a zipper fly, which seals all the way up more effectively!
Though it’s a bit of an overgeneralization, you can think of Levi’s 514 jeans as better for a more modern appearance, while Levi’s 505 jeans present a more traditional “dad jean” look.
Of course, you can change this up by pairing the jeans with various tops and shoes. For instance, you could easily make the 505 jeans a perfect choice to wear out to a bar by pairing them with your favorite sports shirt or make the 514 jeans look more traditional by matching them with a flannel shirt or jacket.
The 505 jeans have remained wildly popular for more than 50 years largely because they can fit almost anyone. You don’t have to worry about whether the cut will fit your particular body type with the classic 505 styles!
The lower waist on the 514 may present a challenge to some people. On the other hand, it also gives you a chance to wear loose, comfortable jeans that still look stylish!
Did Levi’s Discontinue the 505?
Levi’s did not discontinue their popular 505 style, which you can still buy today from the company website or many other places such as Target, Walmart, and JCPenney.
The company has made some changes to the 505 over the years, such as no longer offering the “regular fit” variation of the 505 and not offering only the classic “straight fit” style.
Anyone who wants the most traditional style of jeans and finds Levi’s current variations on the 505 too modern might prefer the iconic 501 style of Levi’s jeans instead.
Levi’s 505 Regular Fit vs Straight FitLevi’s no longer offers a regular fit version of the 505, instead marketing the straight fit as the main option of the 505 currently available. In the past, the 505 style was offered in either style, but today the 514 takes the place of the looser-fitting 505 regular fit.
In general, a regular fit provides a looser fit in the seat and thighs than a purely straight fit. Another way to think about this is that the upper leg tapers a bit in a regular fit, narrowing in from a wider hip to a slightly skinnier knee in the leg. A straight leg style, in contrast, forms a straight line from the thigh down to the ankle.
Vintage Levis 505
While you can sometimes track down and find authentic vintage Levi’s 505 jeans from back in the 1960s or 70s, you can also buy brand new 505 jeans made in Levi’s special vintage-style collection!
The great thing about Levi’s Vintage Style collection is that you can rely on its modern sizing and also get new jeans that have not worn out over time. And, of course, they look like vintage jeans!
The 505 Vintage Style jeans, known as the “Summer of Love” style, use selvage denim to create a retro appearance. These jeans even use a vintage zipper made by the same company that made the original 1967 zippers when the 505 first debuted!
You can find these jeans for sale on Levi’s website. They do cost quite a lot more than the average pair of Levi’s jeans–at full price, they cost $270!
Levi’s 505 Stretch Jeans
Technically called “Levi’s Regular Fit Stretch Jeans” the stretch version of the 505 comes with straight legs and a relaxed fit and a more flexible type of denim. This version of the popular style may suit you if you do not like to feel constrained by stiff denim or if you need a lot of mobility. This “stretch denim” only contains one percent of elastic fibers–the rest is all cotton!
The overall appearance of these jeans looks loose, roomy, and comfortable.
What Levis Are Similar to the 514?
If you like the loose, straight lines of Levi’s 514 style, you may wonder what Levi’s are similar to the 514. Both the 501 and the 541 styles have a lot in common with the 514.
Levi’s 514 vs 501
Levi’s 514 and 501 jeans have a lot in common, though the 501 does fit a little more tightly. Both jeans offer a straight-legged style with fairly similar leg openings. However, the 501–Levi’s original cut of jeans–does have a higher rise than the low-rise 514 style.
The 501 also almost always uses 100% denim instead of stretch denim. Plus, it comes with an old-fashioned button fly instead of a zipper fly.
In many ways, Levi’s 501 jean looks like the quintessential jean. It should, as it was the first pair of jeans made with denim and metal rivets! The 514 takes a modern spin on that general style by adding the low-rise waist.
Levi’s 514 vs 541
Levi’s 514 and 541 jeans have a relaxed fit allowing for lots of movement, but the new 541 style offers some added benefits. Known as an “athletic-straight” cut, the 541 has super roomy upper legs to allow for a more muscular body type.
Even though these jeans look a lot like the straight-legged 514 style, they do technically have a tiny bit of a taper, as they have a marginally smaller leg opening of 15.75.”
What Levis Are Similar to the 505?
You can see some strong similarities between Levis 505, 501, and 513 styles. Out of the three, the 501 has the most classic look, while the 505 comes in with a 1960s vibe and the 513 looks more modern.
505 vs 501
Levi’s 505 and 501 jeans have a lot in common largely because the 505 was the company’s big update to the original, still wildly popular 501 style. Both jeans feature a straight-legged style, the 501 features a regular-straight fit and the 505 has a loose-straight fit.
The key difference between these two classic styles is that the 505 cut offers a little more room in the upper leg and has a zipper fly instead of a button fly.
505 vs 513
The 505 and 513 styles do not look as much like each other because the 513 style has more of a fitted silhouette than the loose, straight-legged 505. That said, people looking for a trendier cut that still has some of the hallmarks of the 505 may want to consider the 513 style.
Levi’s 513 jeans feature a “slim-straight” cut with much more narrow legs than the 505. This style typically contains stretch denim to make the closer-fitting jeans feel more comfortable.
The key difference between Levi’s 514 and 505 jean styles is that the 514 model features a low-rise waist, while the 505 has a more traditional mid-rise waist. Another slight difference is that the 514 style provides a bit more room in the upper leg of the jeans than the 505. Both styles feature a straight-legged cut with plenty of relaxed space for movement.
Overall, the 505 presents a more classic, rectangular jean shape. The 514 looks more modern or trendy with its loose fit and low-rise waist.